Do you have a nasty habit? I’m talking about SMOKING. Yeah, we find it hard to admit to that one anymore. I think it’s easier to admit to other things: not recycling, under-tipping, saying good morning and not really meaning it.
Smoking was once a widely accepted social norm. Heck, I grew up in a home with artfully beautiful ashtrays strewn about. They were imported cut crystal on stands, hand-blown glass on tables and sea shell ones on the patio. Smoking was what civilized people did while having a cocktail, after dinner and, well, any time they wanted. You could smoke in the grocery store, the mall, even your doctor’s office. One of my duties as a medical assistant (my first real job in health care) included prepping rooms between patients, and I had to empty ashtrays and wipe them out.
In all seriousness, I spent 20 years in health care and saw firsthand the serious damage smoking can do. I also lived with a two pack per day habit of my own for many years. Why don’t you plan on quitting; even for just one day? Then, on the next day, you can make another decision, and perhaps it will be forever.
In the meantime, here are some tips to help you quit; for a day, or a week or (if you really want to) for the rest of your life.
1. Believe you can. Believe in yourself. You have been through more difficult challenges!
2. Have a plan. Write down why you want to quit: live longer, feel better, save money… Put it on paper and read it daily.
3. Ask for support from your family and friends on your decision to quit.
4. Set a quit date. Decide what day you will extinguish your cigarettes forever. Write it down. Plan for it.
5. Relax and visualize not smoking, daily for 3-5 minutes.
6. Cut back on cigarettes daily.
7. Drink lots of water. It will help flush the nicotine from your body.
8. Avoid triggers. Learn what triggers your desire to smoke and avoid those activities.
9. Find something to do with your hands. They may miss the activity of smoking.
10. Keep track of your progress. Keep a calendar or journal, be proud of your accomplishment.
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